How to Polish Brushed Stainless Steel

Updated November 21, 2016

Brushed stainless steel has been rubbed with an abrasive material to create a pattern of thin lines on the surface of the metal. While this process removes some of the shine that stainless steel is known for, it also helps hide the signs of everyday use -- such as fingerprints or dust. Though there are a number of commercial products that have been designed specifically to keep brushed stainless steel looking good, there is no need to spend a lot of money on expensive cleaners. Stainless steel can be polished and shined with a variety of everyday items.

Mix 1 tbsp of ammonia and 1 gallon of warm water. Sponge the solution over the surface of the steel to remove any dust or debris. If you don't have any ammonia on hand, wipe the surface clean with a soft cloth that has been dipped in undiluted vinegar. Rinse with warm water and wipe dry with a soft towel.

Pour 3 tsp of cream of tartar into a small dish. Add 1 tsp of 3 per cent hydrogen peroxide and stir briskly to form a smooth paste. Spread the mixture over any stains or discolourations.

Rub the paste gently with a damp sponge, moving with the grain of the brushed steel. Wait for the paste to dry and then wipe it away with a wet cloth. Pat the surface dry with a clean towel.

Add 1/4 tsp of olive oil to a soft cloth. Rub the cloth over the surface of the steel to polish and shine the brushed metal. Work your way from the top of the item to the bottom, adding more oil as needed. Blot up any excess oil by pressing a paper towel against the surface.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 tbsp household ammonia
  • Sponge
  • Soft cloth
  • Vinegar
  • Towel
  • 3 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp hydrogen peroxide, 3 per cent
  • 1/4 tsp olive oil
  • Paper towel
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About the Author

Lisa Parris is a writer and former features editor of "The Caldwell County News." Her work has also appeared in the "Journal of Comparative Parasitology," "The Monterey County Herald" and "The Richmond Daily News." In 2012, Parris was honored with awards from the Missouri Press Association for best feature story, best feature series and best humor series.